The American Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals started an awareness campaign many years ago dedicated to educating the public about animal abuse. That event takes place in April, and Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Week runs from April 18 to 24.
What is Animal Cruelty?
Although the legal definition of animal cruelty can vary between states, the result is always heartbreaking. Abuse and neglect takes a toll on animals, especially when it happens repeatedly. Since animals cannot speak for themselves, they need people to notice when something is not right and speak up for them. Both domestic and wild animals can become the target of abusive behavior by humans.
What to Do if You Witness or Suspect Animal Abuse
Wanting to help an abused animal is noble and loving, but you must be careful to protect yourself at the same time. Anyone with the potential to abuse an animal can also become violent with other people. The best thing you can do is take detailed notes of what you saw and snap pictures if you feel safe to do so. Your notes should include the animal’s injuries or behavior, the date and time you noticed them, and the name and contact information of the person you suspect hurt the animal if you know it.
Once you have gathered as much information as you can, contact your local Humane Society to report probable animal abuse. If no animal welfare organization exists in your area, try the local police department. These people have experience and training with rescuing abused animals while you probably do not. Leaving the follow-up to professionals is always the best decision.
Spread Awareness and Support Animal Rescue Organizations
Now that you know what to do if you suspect animal abuse, you can teach others to do the same. You could potentially save lives and help animals get to permanent loving homes just by sharing what you have learned on social media. Be sure to talk about it with friends, family, and co-workers as well.
You do not need to witness animal abuse directly to help animals in need. The Humane Society and similar organizations always need donations of cash or pet supplies. If you have a few hours a week to spare, volunteering at an animal shelter is an excellent way to show support for animals who may have come from an abusive situation.
Recently Rescued a Pet? Contact Us to Establish a Veterinary Relationship Right Away
Maybe your compassion for abused and neglected animals prompted you to adopt a new pet. Just as you are there for your new companion, Grantsburg Animal Hospital is here to support you in your new role as pet owner. We recommend scheduling a preventive care exam shortly after bringing your new pet home to establish a baseline for future care.
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